EMERYVILLE, Calif., March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- UC San Francisco (UCSF) and Berkeley Lights, Inc. (BLI) have formed a collaboration that gives researchers in the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) access to Berkeley Lights' powerful opto-nanofluidic biosystems*. This is the first partnership for BLI that will enable researchers to explore all three capabilities of these platforms: single-cell genomic profiling of pre-annotated tissue samples, the development of precision diagnostics, and point-of-care therapies. Through the collaboration, UCSF researchers will study various cancer types to better understand the characterization and functionality of cell types in the progression of the disease and responsiveness to treatments.
Using Berkeley Lights' biosystems, UCSF researchers will be able to analyze precious cell samples at the single-cell level, producing a wealth of information about each patient's tumor and its environment. This information can dramatically accelerate their research into identifying which drug, or combination of drugs, may be maximally effective for a specific patient, based on the precise molecular basis of that patient's disease.
"Single-cell genomics is a very exciting emerging field which will likely have considerable impact in the clinic," said UCSF's Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, president of the HDFCCC. "The BLI technology uses a unique, automated system that allows us to scale rapidly our research to understand how the state of individual cells and cell types correlates with disease status, progression, and response to therapy. Exploiting this innovative technology, we will identify and develop precision diagnostics and therapies which we aim to translate into clinical practice."
UCSF is one of the first institutions to harness Berkeley Lights' platforms for researchers investigating and developing targeted therapies. The collaboration will focus first on understanding single-cell interactions and analyzing cells in lung, melanoma, bladder, ovarian, endometrial, uterine and prostate cancer patients. Armed with the ability to observe, manipulate and monitor large numbers of single discrete cells, UCSF researchers can utilize minimally invasive biopsies such as core and fine-needle aspirates, in which the amount of tumor sample collected is very small and precious.
"Our goal is to deliver platforms that can effectively scale single-cell genomics towards actionable answers in research and drive the development of cellular immunotherapies," said Igor Khandros, PhD, BLI co-founder and chief executive officer. "Rigorous single-cell selection, analysis and culture of patient tumor samples will help facilitate the development of individualized, precise diagnostics and therapies. The ability to explore these areas with an outstanding institution like UCSF is very exciting."
*For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
About Berkeley Lights
Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Emeryville, CA, Berkeley Lights, Inc. has developed technology, platforms and devices that enable opto-nanofluidic biomedical engineering with the highest level of integration. Berkeley Lights' core belief is that biomedical challenges yield to world-class engineering, and is applying its capabilities to address unmet research needs in BioPharma, Cellular Immuno-Oncology, and Autologous T-cell Therapies. For more information, visit http://www.berkeleylights.com/.
UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area. Please visit www.ucsf.edu/news.
The UCSF Office of Innovation, Technology and Alliances led the negotiations with Berkeley Lights and will manage licensing activity of UCSF intellectual property resulting from the collaboration.
SOURCE Berkeley Lights, Inc.